Arcade1Up Infinity Game Board review: Time to clear out your games closet

This touchscreen tablet lets you ditch physical games for digital versions of Monopoly, Pandemic, Risk, and much more.
The Arcade 1up Infinity Game Board with Monopoly on the screen
Monopoly is still only fun if you're winning. Chelsey B. Coombs

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My games closet has been a cramped disaster since I was a kid, filled to the brim with classic board games like Monopoly and Operation, along with boxes upon boxes of puzzles that I put together maybe once. Now that I live in NYC, I barely have room for my clothes in my apartment, let alone an entire collection of board games. Arcade1Up’s Infinity Game Board attempts to solve the space and missing-piece problems by packing over 100 digital games and activities—from gaming heavyweights like Hasbro and Asmodee—into a digital tablet.

Arcade1Up Infinity Game Board

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Overview

  • Arcade1Up’s Infinity Game Board packs dozens and dozens of classic games into a space-saving digital form.
  • Fifty board games and activities are included, and 50+ more are available from an online store.

Pros

  • Saves space compared to regular board games
  • Hasbro and Asmodee partnerships mean you can play top board games
  • The puzzle options are endless
  • Game library expands monthly
  • No more lost pieces

Cons

  • A little heavy and needs an additional expensive battery to be truly portable
  • Some especially tactile games, like Hungry Hungry Hippos and Operation, don’t translate
  • Touchscreen can be finicky

Verdict: Board game enthusiasts and tiny home dwellers can conserve space without sacrificing choices with Arcade1Up’s Infinity Game Board.

The build

Arcade1Up’s $499 Infinity Game Board is an 18.5-inch HD (1920 x 1080) touchscreen tablet that lets you play board games and other activities both locally and online with other Infinity Game Board users. It supports games for up to six players, but you can play many games and activities with fewer people or even by yourself. It’s a more portable, compact, and less expensive alternative to the company’s $1,000 Infinity Game Table (originally an October 2020 Kickstarter project).

It’s a fairly substantial device, coming in at around seven pounds and 18.4” L x 11.25” W x 3.25” H after extending the legs. The ability to tilt those legs up is especially nice for playing one of the device’s pinball offerings. You’ll need to make sure you’re playing relatively close to an outlet because, without the AC adapter, you won’t be able to turn it on unless you buy the $199 battery, sold separately. The included AC adapter has a fairly long 10-foot cord, though, so it’s not as big of a hindrance as you might expect. 

Legs on the bottom of the 1up Arcade Game Board legs
Legs on the bottom of the Infinity Game Board make it more flexible for playing on surfaces. Chelsey B. Coombs

The setup

Set up is simple: plug it in, connect the board to a WiFi network, then create your Infinity Table account. You’re then taken to the main dashboard, which shows the Game Store, which has free and paid games, along with any games already in your collection. And with 16GB of storage space, the Infinity Game Board allows for a lot of games.

The performance

The great thing about the Infinity Game Board is that many of the most famous board games (Monopoly, Scrabble, Guess Who, Trivial Pursuit, Battleship, etc.) come free with the device. That’s probably partially why the device is $499—licensing all those classics from Hasbro can’t be cheap. Thankfully, there are so many included games and activities available that you don’t have to buy more titles unless you’d really like to.

And many of those classics play like the originals, just without physical pieces and with digital animations. Monopoly was a huge success for me. It feels just like playing the physical version. One highlight of the Infinity Game Board is that if your game goes too long (who hasn’t played a six-hour-long Monopoly slog), you can save it and come back later without worrying about having your carefully constructed real estate empire pieces falling all over the place when you move it from the dining room table. Most of the other games can also be paused and saved for later.

In some games, like Scrabble and Connect Four, the board also helpfully flips for easier viewing during your turn. That’s not very practical with a physical board and pieces.

Arcade 1up Infinity Game Board main menu
The tablet’s menu gives access to a ton of games. Chelsey B. Coombs

Digital vs. physical games

I was curious how physical games that rely on opponents not seeing your pieces, like Guess Who and Battleship, would work on a digital game board, and I found some great solutions the software developers had come up with. You can remember what your chosen Guess Who character looks like by pressing on the digital card for a few seconds until it flips over, allowing you to move your other hand around it so your opponent can’t see. In Battleship, you can check your fleet’s positions by clicking on a smaller version of the gameboard that you can cover with your hand, as well.

Puzzle Play was one of the highlights of my experience with the Infinity Game Board. You can choose from several photos from categories like abstract, architecture, flowers, etc., that can be turned into a custom puzzle with nine to 529 pieces. However, I’d probably steer clear of creating puzzles with the highest number of pieces because the Game Board itself is too small to organize the pieces without creating an overwhelming amount of on-screen clutter. If you want to dive hard into puzzles, the larger Infinity Game Table is probably better.

There’s even background music with bird sounds and flowing water that makes the experience of doing puzzles even more relaxing. I spent hours upon hours doing puzzles by myself and never got bored. There are also paid versions of Puzzle Play featuring themed image packs from DC Comics, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter. And you never have to worry about losing a piece.

It’s also great that more complicated and specialized board games are available, usually for purchase. You can get Hasbro’s Risk, Asmodee’s Pandemic, or Ticket To Ride for $9.99. Harry Potter fans will enjoy the themed version of Trivial Pursuit and Wizard’s Chess, too. I hope that in the future, more Asmodee titles, especially those that tie in with pop culture licenses from Marvel to Star Wars to Stranger Things, are added to the Game Store.

Arcade 1up Infinity Game Board puzzles
Puzzles are a standout when it comes to fun. Chelsey B. Coombs

The feel of the games

While many of the digital versions of these games are fun, I did sometimes miss the tactile stimulation that is such an important part of the board game experience. What’s The Game of Life without physically putting the tiny plastic people into the car you move around the board? I missed dramatically flipping down the plastic frames in Guess Who that don’t match your opponent’s chosen character and pressing on the Trouble bubble, even though there is some haptic feedback on the board.   

Some of the Infinity Game Board games lacking this tactile stimulation I would skip altogether because they don’t translate well to a digital screen. Hungry Hungry Hippos just doesn’t feel right when you don’t get to press the hippos’ levers and grab the marbles physically. It almost felt like there was a pre-determined winner because the computer makes up where the marbles go, and if you’re on the wrong side, you’re out of luck. Operation is also a miss for me—instead of relying on the physical skill of keeping the forceps from touching the buzzing sides of the patient’s cavities, you just move your finger along a non-complicated maze, which isn’t difficult, even for children. 

The Infinity Game Board really shines with games and activities that naturally lend themselves to a digital experience, like Solitaire, Poker, and other card games, Love Charms (which is essentially Candy Crush), Minesweeper, and, I would imagine, the soon-to-be-downloadable Wheel of Fortune. I hope that when choosing games to make available in the future, Arcade1Up leans into that, potentially adding games like Family Feud or Scene It that would work well in this format. They could also lean into their company’s arcade machine roots, adding more pinball games or other classics like Pac-Man and Frogger.

So, who should buy the Arcade1Up Infinity Game Board?

I had a great time playing with the Arcade1Up Infinity Game Board, and if you love having friends and family over for game and puzzle nights, especially if you live in a home without a lot of extra storage space, it’s worth it. The infinite puzzle options alone make this a great buy. For those often playing video games on their phone or tablet, the Infinity Game Board also allows you to play a wide selection of them on a larger screen. Some games, like the aforementioned Hungry, Hungry Hippos, and Operation, will always be better in their original physical form. Still, there are so many other great options included for free and for purchase in the Game Store that the $499 price point is well worth it.